Talk:Science of Logic

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated Stub-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
Stub-Class article Stub  This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

regarding "citation needed" on examples[edit]

Some of the writing includes hypothetical examples given the topic under discussion -- some have been marked "citation needed." My opinion is that the use of these examples is akin to, for example, a mathematical example which conforms to the formula under discussion. An alternative would be to try to reproduce Hegel's examples; this strategy could be adopted but I wonder who will take the time for such an attempt. Jazzbox (talk) 00:15, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

resumption of narrative[edit]

I haven't worked on this in some time. I think what I have written is pretty good up through the sections I covered (just getting into the doctrine of essence). I have finished my analysis of the book and have handwritten a narrative similar to this. I don't think I will undertake translating that to wikipedia however. Perhaps though I will write some shorter entries for the rest of the book. I do think what I have written is fairly accessible and should be left roughly as is. Jazzbox (talk) 00:15, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


Have resumed narrative for now. Mike 66.212.64.234 (talk) 22:51, 5 November 2008 (UTC) Well, somebody deleted my narrative so I give up. Mike Note: I plan to resume the narrative at some point! 206.188.60.177 (talk) 18:46, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I started a basic narrative of the progression of the book. I finally finished the work after three long years. I liked Carlson's book. If nobody jumps in I will try to continue my own narrative. If you want to jump in, jump in. My preference would be fairly understandable narrative which follows the basic pattern of the work. I'm interested in the SOL because of my interest in AI. Mike Archbold 209.90.231.102 (talk) 02:16, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

why is it that logic is a Science?

Because, according to Hegel, science is the rationally organized form of knowledge. Jeremy J. Shapiro 08:29, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

It's also important to remember that at this time so many things were considered sciences, things that have since lost this classification in English usage and academia (eg painting). A good deal of this changed in the 20th century, especially with philosophy of science. In German academia, however, philosophy still holds "science"-like status under the umbrella of Geisteswissenschaft--here, recognize the familiar Geist and then Wissenschaft, the German word for science. But, to think of that as the science of Geist requires thinking of science in a non-standard way, distinct from, say, physics. Much the same applies here with Hegel's Wissenschaft der Logik, his "Science" of Logic. --Tedpennings 10:58, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

It is worth combining the two remarks above: Not only for Hegel but in German usage before him "Wissenschaft" meant rationally organized and justified knowledge. It still rather is understood that way, for example among University students in "Literaturwissenschaft" who would be called literature majors in the US, but in Germany it is "literary science." Even in English at Hegel's time "science" did not yet have the connotation of empirical research. The current meaning in English was much shaped by Huxley in the late 19th century with his program to make "science" a distinct profession.Colin McLarty (talk) 12:36, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

"Since for Hegel all of reality is ultimately rational"[edit]

"Since for Hegel all of reality is ultimately rational"

It is evident that the author of the article is complately ignorant about the Hegelian connection between "rationality" and "actuality". I would like to quote from "Shorter Logic" to prevent any confusion:

"In the Preface to my Philosophy of Right, p. xxvii, are found the propositions:

What is reasonable is actual and What is actual is reasonable.

These simple statements have given rise to expressions of surprise and hostility, even in quarters where it would be reckoned an insult to presume absence of philosophy, and still more of religion. Religion at least need not be brought in evidence; its doctrines of the divine governments of the world affirm these propositions too decidedly. For their philosophic sense, we must presuppose intelligence enough to know, not only that God is actual, that He is the supreme actuality, that He alone is truly actual; but also, as regards the logical bearings of the question, that existence is in part mere appearance, and only in part actuality. In common life, any freak of fancy, any error, evil and everything of the nature of evil, as well as every degenerate and transitory existence whatever, gets in a casual way the name of actuality. But even our ordinary feelings are enough to forbid a casual (fortuitous) existence getting the emphatic name of an actual; for by fortuitous we mean an existence which has no greater value than that of something possible, which may as well not be as be. As for the term Actuality, these critics would have done well to consider the sense in which I employ it. In a detailed Logic I had treated among other things of actuality, and accurately distinguished it not only from the fortuitous, which, after all, has existence, but even from the cognate categories of existence and the other modifications of being.

The actuality of the rational stands opposed by the popular fancy that Ideas and ideals are nothing but chimeras, and philosophy a mere system of such phantasms. It is also opposed by the very different fancy that Ideas and ideals are something far too excellent to have actuality, or something too impotent to procure it for themselves. This divorce between idea and reality is especially dear to the analytic understanding which looks upon its own abstractions, dreams though they are, as something true and real, and prides itself on the imperative ‘ought’, which it takes especial pleasure in prescribing even on the field of politics. As if the world had waited on it to learn how it ought to be, and was not! For, if it were as it ought to be, what would come of the precocious wisdom of that ‘ought’? When understanding turns this ‘ought’ against trivial external and transitory objects, against social regulations or conditions, which very likely possess a great relative importance for a certain time and special circles, it may often be right. In such a case the intelligent observer may meet much that fails to satisfy the general requirements of right; for who is not acute enough to see a great deal in his own surroundings which is really far from being as it ought to be? But such acuteness is mistaken in the conceit that, when it examines these objects and pronounces what they ought to be, it is dealing with questions of philosophic science. The object of philosophy is the Idea: and the Idea is not so impotent as merely to have a right or an obligation to exist without actually existing. The object of philosophy is an actuality of which those objects, social regulations and conditions, are only the superficial outside."

Hegel; Shorter Logic; Introduction: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/

Mehmet Çagatay


I believe that this is highly pompous of Cagatay. He has quoted two long paragraphs in response to a single sentence and has not gone on to draw his point from it. This is quite pretentious, and one wonders whether Cagatay actually has the ability to do so. Moreover, while the sentence in question is certainly a little truncated, and hence perhaps not quite accurate, or ambiguously so, considering that the article is only a stub the author's use of words is not entirely off the mark. There is no reason to assume that the author is completely ignorant. Moreover the author correctly draws out the most important thing about the Logic, that it is a derivation of the categories (in response to Kant) as inhering in being itself, and that it is thus an ontological work as well as an epistemological one. In so far as this is the author's point in the stub as a whole, I believe that the author is largely right. However, if they would care to expand the article, that would be welcome.

3.1 is a mess.[edit]

It's unclear, it's slangy--I don't have the familiarity with the Logic necessary to edit it, though. Can somebody get on that?

It's not only that, it's just plain wrong, according to contemporary interpretations. I'll try to work something out... --Peter Remmers (talk) 14:35, 11 December 2010 (UTC)


You are incorrect -- Carlson in his recent publication advocates the circular totality interpretation of SOL. I take a dim view of some guy saying my commentary is "plain wrong" anyway w/ respect to Hegel. There is nothing plain about Hegel. Have you read the S.O.L.... I mean all of it? Jazzbox (talk) 05:35, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

i've added some material from the book's introduction that i believe is essential in order to understand what distinguishes Hegel's approach from those the other systems of logic.
i've also heavily revised what was written here, again because of lack of citations and inaccuracies, but also because much of it was clearly influenced by the subjective opinions of the author:
"... unfortunately patently obfuscating"; "Eventually Hegel pulls in Kant's ideas of judgement and categorical classification, more or less wholesale copied from the Critique of Pure Reason and adapted into his system."
* "Hegel starts simply with the concept of being, objective being which you can simply point at, such as the chair in front of you."
a chair would be a Determinate Being, not the Pure Being that Hegel actually takes as his starting point [see the discussion below under "Being"].
* "This absolute covers basically everything which can happen, has happened, and all viewpoints rolled into one."
it is not the Absolute, but the Absolute Idea that is the final stage of the Logic and includes within itself, not "everything which can happen", but only all rational thought about everything which can happen. this is what distinguishes the philosophy of logic from those of nature and spirit.
* "Hence the Science of Logic is actually a circle and there is no starting point, no sequence, but rather a totality."
there is at least a sequence. otherwise it wouldn't be a "progression", let alone a logical one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xianmw (talkcontribs) 16:25, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

would be better to modify / embellish current version than erase and start over[edit]

Most of my writing at least is not in hegeleze... just deleting what I have and inserting a modified table of contents is not going to help. I reverted to original. Please respect efforts others have put in by not just deleting what is there and inserting your stuff... Jazzbox (talk) 01:18, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


it was not my intention to disrespect you. however, that concern is more than trumped by issues of respect for the historical importance and scientific integrity of the source material as well as respect for the the internet community's right to accurate and well-cited information. i am afraid that in my opinion this entire article is in dire need of a complete rewrite---the lack of citations alone is enough to justify this action: as stated in About Wikipedia, "if you add information to an article, be sure to include your references, as unreferenced facts are subject to removal." but it is not just a matter of adding references to what is already there since most of the things you have written here are nowhere to be found in hegel's "science of logic." [your stated antipathy to the language of speculative philosophy---what you call 'hegelese'---prima facie doesn't recommend you as an explicator of hegel's works ... kind of like a French teacher who hates French and refuses to speak it!]

in the near future i plan to begin the project of rewriting this entry as a summary the content of the book such as it was written, and perhaps introduce some illustrating examples drawn from the book itself. i will accompany my revisions with detailed explanations as to why the revision was necessary citing the book directly for the benefit of the public.

if you wish to contribute or make changes, then, just like everybody else, you are obliged to cite sources and give clear rational arguments for your inclusions. otherwise, according to wikipedia policy, you will be committing an act of vandalism.

thank you for your understanding,

Xianmw (talk) 19:30, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

It looks to me xianmw that you seem to be bent on your strategy which is to restate the relatively understandable narrative that I started with your own outline in Hegelese, which will guarantee that nobody will ever understand it. Firstly, to just delete what I had written and inserted your own Hegelese. Secondly now you are saying I committed "vandalism." That's really a stretch. If old Hegel could hear you now... WOW... but setting these issues aside, obviously we don't like each other. I guess I will not trouble myself anymore with this. But just why is it that you want an article that nobody can understand? To be just like Hegel? To carry on the fine tradition of obscurity? Or is it some class assignment? In any case my opinion is that it would be much better to write something THAT CAN BE UNDERSTOOD. Jazzbox (talk) 20:28, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

New "Being" Section[edit]

i have decided to completely rewrite this section for the following reasons:

1. there is no textual citation whatsoever, and so is not verifiable as per wikipedia's quality standards. it is therefore, according to policy, subject to removal.

it is debatable the extent to which text has to be cited. Just making up an example based upon the meaning of the text so long as it conforms to the meaning is within bounds IMO. Jazzbox (talk) 21:18, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

2. almost all of what is written either directly contradicts, cannot be found in, or significantly distorts the source material:

  • "Quality, Being, Sublation, and Becoming" "Hegel takes Quality as the first major topic of the book."

both the heading and the first sentence heavily imply that Quality is the arbitrarily chosen starting point of the Logic. although the title of the first section of book one is "Determinateness (Quality)" [Hegel, GWF. "Hegel's Science of Logic". Allen & Unwin, 1969, table of contents], Quality itself is not the starting point, but is logically derived from the preceding moments of Being, Nothing, Becoming and Determinate Being in General [ibid, p.109].

The "starting point" is covered in the introduction above. "Starting point" could just mean that he started writing about Quality. "Quality" is the title of section 1 in my book, Quality.Jazzbox (talk) 21:17, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
  • "In the simplest case we take a quality such as being—Hegel uses "pure being.""

Being is not a Quality. Hegel makes it very clear in the first remark to chapter 1 that he agrees with the point made by Kant in his critique of the ontological proof of god's existence, namely that 'being is not a property or real predicate, that is to say, is not a concept of something which could be added to the concept of a thing.' [ibid, p.86, §141] therefore, Being is not, and cannot be, a quality [e.g., of god], since, as later outlined in the Logic, Quality only appertains to Determinate Being, not Pure Being. otherwise, Being would not be 'pure' but determined by some quality or other. the sentence also implies that Pure Being is 'taken' merely for its 'simplicity', rather than for the fact that, according to hegel, it has determined itself as the first outcome of Pure Knowing, the development of which was followed in 'the phenomenology of spirit'. [ibid. p.68]

Understood, that is not a great sentence, not clear... my translation has being subordinate to quality just in the table of contents. Section one is titled Quality with Being subordinate to it. It seems to imply that quality needs being. I understood this that at least in the doctrine of being, that being/nothing were the opposites used by quality, and quality could become "something" or "other." But even Hegel would probably get tangled in the distinction of whether quality was being, because he always seems to try to lose you defining something as being exactly the same as something else. You've got one extraction above, fine, but I wonder where else he has stated the reverse. I guess my point is that he does seem to kickoff his book with quality; we are using becoming as a substrate to get from being to nothing, and qualities are made determinate. Also I have no recollection of Pure Knowing anywhere in the SOL. That sounds like it is from the phenomonology. Jazzbox (talk) 21:17, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
  • "The important point is that we cannot have the quality being unless we also take into consideration nothing. It is impossible to conceive of being without nothing included in the thought."

this restates the above error that Being is a Quality. also, according to Hegel, Being and Nothing CAN be thought of as separate, and indeed, too often are. 'remark 3: the isolating of these abstractions' is chiefly devoted to examining different instances of how thought has historically separated them from each other 'in order to hold fast, each by itself ... being and nothing, and to show them protected against transition.' Hegel goes on to examine some examples of Being and Nothing being thought of, the one without the other, Parmenides being the prime example of the former and Buddhism, the latter.

but the point is that his whole aufgehoben/sublation issue is that we have to think of being and nothing together. The sentence could be made more clear, but that is the whole point of Hegel's approach... sublation Jazzbox (talk) 21:17, 27 December 2011 (UTC)


  • "As another example, it is impossible to understand the idea of continuous unless we have an understanding of discrete. Continuous would be entirely meaningless if it could not be held in contrast with discrete."

this is the same error transfered over to the chapter on Quantity. it is essential to the integrity of the Logic that the these concepts be held as independent and as such demonstrate their relationship with each other 'on their own', so to speak, regardless of whether or not they are 'thought of' or 'understood' by someone. otherwise, logical thought would be indistinguishable from thought in general. in regards to continuity and discreteness, there is in fact a remark to the section concerning them called 'the usual SEPARATION of these magnitudes.'[p.200]

  • "This process is Hegel's concept of quality "sublation" and this type of dialectic thinking permeates all the Science of Logic under one heading or another."

it is unclear what 'process' is being referred to here. if it is the 'process' of taking Being and Nothingness in their unity as Becoming [which, if, as the author of this entry states, is immediately given, i.e., 'IMPOSSIBLE to conceive of being without nothing', would be no 'process' at all] then this is no sublation, let alone 'quality sublation' which is a term that does not occur in the text. as it appears here, the term 'sublation' is entirely misunderstood. [ibid. p.106]

see Carlson's work, in the footers. He has described in detail. "Becoming" mediates Being and Nothing. Becoming is a substrate. When Hegel says sublation (aufgehoben) he means that one thing "is" the other, and he delights in keeping up that (mostly confusing) phrasing. So summer is winter, dark is light, something is other,... "becoming" mediates these pairs. Reading your comments I wonder if you really do understand Hegel. I mean, you have read parts of SOL and can quote, but it is the meaning of what he is talking about that I wonder if you get. Jazzbox (talk) 21:17, 27 December 2011 (UTC)


  • "If reality were static there wouldn't be much to explain, but reality is a continual oscillation from being to nothing, from quality to quality, from something to other."

it is unclear what is here meant by 'reality'. if the author is using it as it is employed by hegel, [p.111] then Reality is precisely NOT the 'continual oscillation from being to nothing', etc., but is the form taken by Being AFTER its 'continual oscillation' in Becoming has 'settled into a stable oneness' under Determinate Being. [p.106]

But I think you miss the point. Reality is common sense reality. A light is on, later it is off. We have a quality on, later quality off. Becoming is the substrate. The whole thing taken as a whole is aufgehoben. This is a good example on how we are different. You want to take this obscure book, Science of Logic, and explain it in terms of itself using Hegel's terms. The result is only a compact version of the book, equally confusing. It would be better to try to expain it so that it can be understood. It is a very confusing and obscure book, but with hidden beauty and meanings. Mure wrote that part of Measure was a "blind alley." He says he spent his whole life studying it. It would be better for you to try to graps what Hegel really means rather than argue about how many ways we can define reality. You know what reality is. Jazzbox (talk) 21:17, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
  • "Hegel identifies "becoming" as the substrate upon which changes takes place."

i can find this assertion nowhere in the Science of Logic.

I think you prefer the pedantic approach that tries to isolate technicialities, and you focus on a specific assertion. But the problem again with that approach, especially with Hegel, is that it doesn't yield an overall understanding of what he means. Hegel talks a lot about some determinate being changing to some other determination. That means change. But change could only happen via "becoming" which Carlson at least defines as a substrate. At least that is my recollection. But even just looking at the table of contents we see becoming as the mediating whatever (call it substrate, property, or what you will). Jazzbox (talk) 23:15, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

I have made use of the division provided by the Logic itself for ease of reference. I have also capitalized the first letter of each term that has a specific technical meaning, italicizing them when they are first defined.

Xianmw (talk) 23:28, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Uncertainty regarding meaning of "Notion"...[edit]

In general I like the introduction as it now stands. I wonder about this statement:

"The objective side, its Being, is the Notion as it is in itself [an sich]"

In my recollection the Notion (at least in my translation) simply does not appear at all until we get to the third major part of the SOL (Being and Essence in the Objective Logic, Notion is in Subjective Logic). My recollection of the advance of the SOL was that Hegel doesn't classify The Doctrine of Being as being part of Notion. When he talks about an objective part of the Notion, it is only in terms of mechanism, chemism, and teleology. This is under the heading of the Notion.

However the bulk of the Objective Logic, the first major part of the SOL, not the little objective section under the Subjective Logic, doesn't seem to be part of the Notion yet. For one thing he hasn't introduced difference and determination, at least in my understanding of this. For a notion we need the "I think...", universals, particulars, individuals, and a freedom of thought. But he isn't really talking about these issues in the Objective Logic proper.

Part of the confusion stems from Hegel's own classifications, of course. If you are reaching to works outside of the SOL that also might explain it. I may also be wrong too. Part of the problem with Hegel is that he leaves himself open to so many interpretations that are endless grounds for arguing about "what he really meant." Jazzbox (talk) 22:28, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

you will save yourself considerable time and effort, not to mention your powers of recollection, if you would simply consult the citations. they link directly to the marxists.org a.v. miller translation of the science of logic, so you don't even have to dig your book out. to save you even that amount of labour, here is the actual paragraph, found in the "General Division of Logic" subheading of the "Introduction"---right at the beginning of the book---that the sentence under consideration was taken from:
 : "§ 79 Thus what is to be considered is the whole Notion, firstly as the Notion in the form of being, secondly, as the Notion; in the first case, the Notion is only in itself, the Notion of reality or being; in the second case, it is the Notion as such, the Notion existing for itself (as it is, to name concrete forms, in thinking man, and even in the sentient animal and in organic individuality generally, although, of course, in these it is not conscious, still less known; it is only in inorganic nature that it is in itself). Accordingly, logic should be divided primarily into the logic of the Notion as being and of the Notion as Notionor, by employing the usual terms (although these as least definite are most ambiguous) into 'objective' and 'subjective' logic."
this paragraph---at least to me---is lucid, unambiguous, and requires no great interpretative leaps to properly comprehend. it clearly states that: "... the Notion in the form of being ... is ... in itself. Accordingly, logic should be divided ... into 'objective' and 'subjective' logic." hence, my paraphrase.
you are correct that, within the exposition proper of the logic, the Notion is logically subsequent to Being, but, as hegel states:
"§ 74 ... [T]he general division of [the logic, as opposed to its own actual self-development] ... here can only be provisional, can be given, as it were, only in so far as the author is already familiar with the science and consequently is historically in a position to state here in advance the main distinctions which will emerge in the development of the Notion."
i do appreciate your concerns and your input, but if we are to have anything approximating an objective discussion about the science of logic, or anything else for that matter, then it must be grounded in facts, available to all, made apparent by actual thing under discussion, as opposed to someone's mere 'recollection' of it. that is the whole idea behind citation and 'verifiability'. if you're not going to take the time to even consult the source material, just a mouse click away, then it's unfair and unreasonable to expect me or anybody else to take the time to respond like this to subjective interpretations and vague recollections with clearly substantiated assertions: so in the future, don't. please, out of respect for the wikipedia community, at the very least, read over carefully the policies and guidelines and etiquette standards for editing and discussing articles and abide by them!
thanks!
Xianmw (talk) 17:09, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, that does seem to explain the issue. Part of the problem stems from Hegel's habit of saying that one thing X "is" the other thing Y. So when we find a passage that says something like "Being is Notion in itself," fine, but it is debatable whether that constitutes the whole story. By the way, I didn't say you were wrong, I merely called it into question. It is a legitimate question and I am not trying to further an adversarial relationship.

He mentions Notion in the Objective Logic, but it is not developed there, there are just the occasional references to it. The Objective Logic is fully developed without much mention of Notion although it is mentioned occasionally (and its issues of things like judgement, syllogism, idea, etc). Notion is developed much later, so when we say the former concept Being "is" some form of the latter concept Notion it's furtile grounds for debate. I mean, I see I think what Hegel means by all this, that the underpinnings of the Notion include the Objective Logic. Jazzbox (talk) 20:02, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

My feeling from reading the SOL (and I know "feeling" does not fit under your crisp views of the guidelines here) is that the Objective Logic and Subjective Logics were very loosely coupled works. I mean, you can pretty much treat each as basically stand alone works. Further adding to the confusion is the inclusion of an "objective" section under the Subjective Logic, which renders a kind of subjective-objective section, this in addition to the entire Objective Logic we see in the first half of the SOL. You know, I am just trying to understand the SOL and not defeat your efforts. I thought the "talk" section of this was intended to resolve questions and issues. Jazzbox (talk) 20:21, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

new "Determinate Being" section.[edit]

again, i found it necessary to completely rewrite the section covering Determinate Being.

the section such as it was contained no citations from the text and the one quote it contained from the book ["nowhere in heaven or on earth ..."] was taken from the chapter previous to the one on Determinate Being.[1]

i also heavily object to the use of "examples" not taken from the text itself. these for one thing, cannot be verified, and, for another, it is the very nature of subjective interpretations to create controversy. [in this traffic light example, for instance, the relation between a green light and a red light is the relationship between a Something and an Other which is the subject matter of the next section, B., on Finitude. in Determinate Being, it seems to me, the relationship would rather be between the green light and everything else in the universe that is not that particular green light, i.e., Negation in General.]

Also, i think the use of the word "sublated" was very loose and inaccurate. i never get the sense in The Science of Logic that "sublated" can be used as an adjective to describe a "state" of something actual, but is strictly a process of dialectical logic and concerns only the transition between one mode of thought to another. i have done my best to render the meaning and usage of the word based on his extensive discussion in the Remark entitled "The Expression ‘To Sublate’".[2]

this section is now longer than i would have preferred seeing as some explanation of the terms "sublation" and the "negation of the negation" was required. but seeing as how essential these concepts are to the Logic as a whole, i think the length is justified.

Xianmw (talk) 20:53, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

my overall impression of the meaning of sublation was that, for example, we convey not just what state an object is in, but also what state it is not in. I don't think I said sublation meant to describe the state of something. I think I said something along the lines that sublation was not just a description of a thing's present state, but also the other states that it is presently NOT. I don't think Hegel ever used the expression "state," probably. I guess it depends what you mean by "mode of thought."
My overall impression was that sublate meant uniformally not just whatever state ("Limit" would be the rough Hegelian term to correspond to "state") something was in, but what other values (or Limits) it could take on within the walls of its Constitution.Jazzbox (talk) 02:20, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

references to the Logic[edit]

Most of the major schools of philosophy such as Marxism or Existentialism, can be seen as reactions/responses to Hegel's work. Even Lenin rigorously read, studied, and wrote on Hegel's thought (the dialectics in particular) in his Philosophical Notebooks. Perhaps a section containing various remarks to Hegel could be added to this article to show its relevance and significance to other schools of thought.

Here are just a few examples from Marxists, including of course Marx himself:

"I am getting some nice developments. E.g. I have overthrown the entire doctrine of profit as previously conceived. In the method of working [ Methode des Bearbeitens] it was of great service to me that by mere accident . . . I leafed through Hegel's Logic again." (Marx to Engels, XXIX, p.26).

". . . just as I was working at the first volume of Capital, it was the good pleasure of the peevish, arrogant, mediocre epigones who now talk large in cultured Germany, to treat Hegel . . . as a 'dead dog.' I therefore openly avowed myself the pupil of that mighty thinker, and even here and there, in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the mode of expression peculiar to him" (Marx, Capital, I, p.19-20).

"The fixed presuppositions themselves become fluid in the further course of development. But only by holding them fast at the beginning is their development possible without confounding everything" (Marx, Grundrisse, p.817).

"When we consider bourgeois society in the long view and as a whole, then the final result of the process of social production always appears as the society itself, i.e. the human being itself in its social relations. Everything that has a fixed form, such as the product etc., appears as merely a moment, a vanishing moment, in this movement. The direct production process itself here appears only as a moment. The conditions and objectifications of the process are themselves equally moments of it, and its only subjects are the individuals, but individuals in mutual relationships, which they equally reproduce and produce anew. The constant process of their own movement, in which they renew themselves even as they renew the world of wealth they create" (Ibid., p.712)

"It is impossible completely to understand Marx's Capital without having thoroughly studied Hegel's Logic. . . We cannot imagine, express, measure, depict movement, without interrupting continuity, without simplifying, coarsening, dismembering, strangling that which is living. The representation of movement by means of thought always makes coarse, kills – and not only by means of thought, but also by sense-perception, and not only of movement, but every concept. And in that lies the essence of dialectics. And precisely this essence is expressed in the formula: the unity, identity of opposites. (Lenin, Philosophical Notebooks, pp. 259-60) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.84.68.252 (talk) 07:29, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

i fully agree that a fairly extensive "Influence" section needs to be written. that is something i would be willing to help out with eventually, having come, myself, to hegel from marx and engels, unless someone else would like to tackle it. i am less familiar with the Logic's impact beyond that, but would be interested in doing some research.
here's one more from engels:
"... however much Hegel, especially in his Logic, emphasized that this eternal truth is nothing but the logical, or, the historical, process itself, he nevertheless finds himself compelled to supply this process with an end, just because he has to bring his system to a termination at some point or other. In his Logic, he can make this end a beginning again, since here the point of the conclusion, the absolute idea — which is only absolute insofar as he has absolutely nothing to say about it — “alienates”, that is, transforms, itself into nature and comes to itself again later in the mind, that is, in thought and in history. But at the end of the whole philosophy, a similar return to the beginning is possible only in one way. Namely, by conceiving of the end of history as follows: mankind arrives at the cognition of the self-same absolute idea, and declares that this cognition of the absolute idea is reached in Hegelian philosophy. In this way, however, the whole dogmatic content of the Hegelian system is declared to be absolute truth, in contradiction to his dialectical method, which dissolves all dogmatism. Thus the revolutionary side is smothered beneath the overgrowth of the conservative side." [Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy]
Xianmw (talk) 15:42, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

new "Finitude" section.[edit]

i extensively fleshed this section out with the overall idea of bringing it far closer to the text such as it was written while striving for as much clarity as possible. what follows are some explanations for the need for change.

“If we take all the possible determinate being states of some object we can determine the object's constitution. Take any person's moods as an example: the totality of moods reveal constitution.”

constitution’s opposing term, determination, has been omitted. additionally, nowhere does hegel claim that constitution is a totality of states or conditions, merely that “constituted in this way or that way, something is involved in external influences and relationships.”[§ 234]

My reading of supporting works as well as my own reading of the SOL leads me to believe that Hegel means that Constitution implies the set of Limits applicable to something. True, he doesn't use "state" but rather his terminology, Limit. I used state since I prefered to write using contemporary terms, examples, and an attempt to express what Hegel seems (I and I emphasize "seems") to mean, whereas you prefer pendantic hairsplitting along with direct quotes. Jazzbox (talk) 19:33, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
could you please do me a favour and point out to me exactly which translation of the logic and which "supporting works" of yours state that "Hegel means that Constitution implies the set of Limits applicable to something"? i'd be very curious to read such a radical revision of the text that i am working from where the limit is defined several paragraphs after constitution is. i wonder how it would be possible then, to define constitution in terms of limits?! [and since when is "limit" some antiquated term that needs to be updated to be made clearer to contemporary readers? do you really expect me to take that explanation seriously?] Xianmw (talk) 19:19, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
“Returning to the simple stop light example above, we see that it can be in three states: green, yellow, and red. This totality of states we can think of as the object's constitution. Hegel associates "limit" with whatever conditions surround the determinate being in question. Hence, if the light is green it is limited to that state. But, the light "ought" to be able to advance to a different quality like yellow or red. Reality is saturated with the continual transcending of "limits." We see a thing "ought" to be able to change from its present "limit" and this is often what happens.”

it is strongly implied here that limit and ought are complimentary terms, whereas in actuality, hegel pairs the ought with limitation, which is an entirely different concept. to work with the given example, the limit of a traffic light is the border that divides what makes it a traffic light from something else that isn’t a traffic light. the green light is not then limited to being a green light, since changing from green to amber to red is essential for the determination of a traffic light. rather if the green light didn’t change, then it would have breached its limit, the one between being a traffic light and simply being a green light. if this were to happen, then the traffic light would be broken and so would have met is limitation, i.e., demonstrated its finitude. the fact that it should be fixed in order to continue being a traffic light would be the corresponding ought. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xianmw (talkcontribs) 15:00, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

I think Hegel is pretty clear that Limits change... a thing Ought to change from its present Limit as long as it is within the thing's Constitution to do so. That is what the traffic light example fairly clearly demonstrated.Jazzbox (talk) 19:33, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, I guess I see your interpretation is different from mine. I guess I see your point, however I came away with a somewhat different interpretation. You say that "the limit of a traffic light is the border that divides what makes it a traffic light from something else that isn't." That strikes me as sounding suspiciously like the Constitution. If the traffic light were broken it seems like it would change its Constitution. It would also change its Limits, but I thought the Limit was simply whatever Determinate Being (aka) quality was applicable at some point in time. What I THOUGHT Hegel meant to convey in these passages was the issue that a thing changes from some Limit to some other Limit, and when that happens that it does so within the walls and contraints of its Constitution. It seems to me that either one or both of us has conflated Limit and Constitution. That is my belief. Jazzbox (talk) 19:59, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I reread these sections, and what Hegel seems to be saying is that Limit is imposed from *outside* the thing in question, as I think Constitution is (imposed from without). What he means is that, for example, if the traffic light happened to be the only thing in the universe, that is a single traffic light constituted the entire universe, if it changed colors it would have NO meaning. It is from the perspective of another that Limit even exists at all. Continuing the example, Limit would exists *between* the different colors of the stop light, but the limit is imposed by the guy driving the car. The light Ought to change to a different color, so long as the color is within what appears from the outside to be its Constitution. You seem to me to be getting too tangled up in Hegel's term opposition/negativity to see the bigger picture. Are you working mostly from the smaller logic? The SOL strikes me as definitely using the term opposition, of course, but it goes beyond that and its meaning seems to stem not just from simple term opposition, as you seem to think, but from the perspective of entire passages. Jazzbox (talk) 17:40, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
if you truly had reread the text, you would have come across this passage:
"the limit is the non-being of the other, not of the something itself: in the limit, something limits its other." [§ 241]
is it pedantic hairsplitting to point out that this statement is in direct contradiction to yours: "what Hegel seems to be saying is that Limit is imposed from *outside* the thing in question"? a limit is clearly not "imposed" on something by others; something "imposes" its limit on others.
I have a feeling we are both partly right. Hegel says "Limit is the mediation through which something and other each as well is, and is not," and also "Limit is the middle..." but he also says that "limit is present in the something itself." So he has Limit seemingly doing quite a bit. Jazzbox (talk) 20:52, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
how are you partly right? you've just supplied three more instances of hegel contradicting you. but at least you're finally subjecting your willy-nilly thoughts to a little bit of discipline by referencing the text, and so are getting slightly closer to the truth. the rest of the paragraph following the line i gave above is:
"But the other is itself a something in general, therefore the limit which something has relatively to the other is also the limit of the other as a something, its limit whereby it keeps the first something as its other apart from it, or is a non-being of that something; it is thus not only non-being of the other, but-non-being equally of the one and of the other something, consequently of the something as such."
so yes, the Other also demarcates the limit at which the Something ceases to be, but the Other does so only as another Something. so you just can't simply say without further explanation, that it is the Other---presumably what you mean by "outside" ---that imposes the Limit on the Something---presumably what you mean by "the thing in question." that is a grave distortion. "through the limit something is what it is, and in the limit it has its quality" [§ 242]. a line is more than simply not a point. it is through its own Limit that it excludes its Other, the point, from its determination and thereby preserves its quality of being a line. "something through its own nature relates itself to the other, because otherness is posited in it as its own moment" [§ 239]. that's the main point here and you missed it ... but at least not by such a wide margin this time. Xianmw (talk) 19:35, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm starting to get lost in these extrapolations, but I think my central objection to you was that you said "a limit is clearly not "imposed" on something by others..." but Hegel has said more than once that Limit was a sort of go-between, a mediator that stood to define something from an other. I do certainly understand the "main point" above, that otherness is posited in the something as moment. Given the totality of these considerations Hegel means that something is what it is not just due to itself, but whatever else it is that serves to make it what it is, meaning by that what he terms "Other." He has Limit standing in a relation between what the something is and what it is not, hence it is "both" the Something and Other, but it is a mediator. In that sense a Limit clearly is doing a lot of "imposing." My original traffic light example was great. in it I am saying that the Something, the traffic light, in it's present determinate being, let's say green, had a Limit, and that was whatever it was that separated it from being yellow or red. But in Hegel's view it is "also" yellow and red, but these are sublated. He also seems to be intimating in his discussions that Limit has a reference point beyond itself. That is my take on the totality of his writings about this, and if we are to get anything from Hegel, it is the ability to take in the whole of the situation. Jazzbox (talk) 21:40, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
same goes for Constitution. hegel's definition of Constitution is
... "an external determinate being of the something, which is also its determinate being, but does not belong to the something's in-itself." [§ 233]
i.e., the Constitution belongs to the something, it is its determinate being, it is not "imposed from without". the fact that glass shatters when dropped is its constitution, just as it is a rubber ball's to bounce, even though the same action is being imposed on it from without. the example you give based on this misreading is equally nonsensical, and for many other reasons besides.
Hegel says "it is the quality of something to be open to external influences and to have a constitution" and also "the external connection on which constitution depends, and the circumstance of being determined by an other..." implies an outside influence, but he also says that "alteration falls within its constitution; it is that in the something which becomes an other." So whatever constitution is seems to imply (like everything with Hegel) an overall perspective of the totality (so again we are both partly right).Jazzbox (talk) 21:06, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
and how can you on the one hand "criticize" me for using direct quotes from the book and then go on to suggest that i'm "working mostly from the smaller logic"?! you rebut yourself, saving me the effort.
Your narrative does sound like the short logic. Jazzbox (talk) 21:06, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
you wish. Xianmw (talk) 19:35, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
your glosses of the text are so wide off the mark that they can't seriously be considered to be based on it at all, but clearly are your own inventions. i have the book right here in front of me. you aren't fooling me. i can clearly see that almost all the statements you have made about it are demonstrably false and you are putting all your effort into defending the attribution of your made-up thoughts to hegel and next to none into trying to depict the book accurately and honestly. even to those unfamiliar with the book, the fact that you refuse to check citations or offer any of your own is strong evidence that this is in fact the case. i'm sure there are many things you are very knowledgeable about and have a firm grasp of that you can edit wikipedia entries about. the science of logic is not one of them. there is no shame in this, but the public deserves better than a loose interpretation or a feigned understanding of something, especially of this importance. that is what i am diligently working to provide and you are not helping. so please don't. thank you. Xianmw (talk) 19:19, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
The central problem with Hegel's writing is that he leaves himself wide open to endless arguments about how to interpret it. I guess I don't have anything in particular against your approach, but you stick very closely to Hegel's terms and don't venture beyond his examples. Scholars have debated the "true meaning" of the Science of Logic for centuries, and no end is in sight. I have read reasonably beyond the text of Science of Logic, including the works of Mure and Carlson. Their is nothing feigned or faked in my analysis. In fact it is one of the best short narratives ever written on the SOL. Jazzbox (talk) 21:06, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
so here we finally have it. "one of the best short narratives ever written on the SOL" is it? you wouldn't perhaps think that there just might be some grounds to suspect a certain amount of bias in that statement, would you? you claim to have read and understood the whole of the science of logic, but your understanding of objectivity vs. subjectivity lags behind even the most common, everyday notions of them. but at least you have finally revealed the unscientific, illogical ego-fantasy of yours that is standing in the way of rational analysis and discussion. that's fine. i have no desire to interfere with your right to daydream, but in return, i reserve the right to avoid getting tangled up in it by not taking you seriously. it is suddenly very clear that your insistence that a work on the science of logic, of all things, is "wide open to interpretation" is just you giving yourself license to take whatever liberties you want with it. what it has in actuality been wide open to, is misinterpretation by those who, instead of opening their minds and actually philosophizing as a faithful, diligent reading and rereading of the text demands, are much more interested in subordinating the text to the everyday, phenomenal, unphilosophical, ego-driven consciousness that hegel wrote the book to overcome in the first place. it is this, far more than hegel's fabled "obscurity" that has prevented a wider understanding of his work. anything is obscure until you take the time to study it closely and carefully. Xianmw (talk) 19:35, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
The argument above about my stop light example and the use of Limit is a good case in point. In the first place you arrogantly deleted my traffic light example on the grounds that the Limit defined there was wrong. However I listed some other quotes from Hegel that at the very least throws doubt on your understanding of Limit. He does seem to intimate if not outright say that Limit is a go-between, a mediator, and in that sense it is clear that there is a reference point outside of what we are referring to. I would at least say that my traffic light example was not incorrect. It may have been inadequate, or incomplete, but not incorrect. You should read the works of Carlson which inspired some of my understanding of this. His analysis of the relation of finite, infinite, and thought is spot-on, and influenced the account I have given here which you attribute to some flight of my fancy. this is untrue. The approach you are taking may well prove useful to me later as a review device, but the central defect of your approach is that it fails to render a bigger picture analysis. By using Hegel's terms and examples it only gives a sort of outline which in effect is not much different than reading the science of logic. My account of Hegel to the point I had written here (and I have the entire thing in paper notes) is much easier for the newcomer to Hegel to understand. The kind of stuff you are writing is what gives metaphysics the bad connotation it has. I was looking over the wiki on Being and Time and the explanations go light on Heidegger's terms, and it is fairly straightforward to understand. What we have here should be more like that. An more upper level, lean and mean approach something like what I had. 20:26, 3 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jazzbox (talkcontribs)
you say "I listed some other quotes from Hegel that at the very least throws doubt on your understanding of Limit. He does seem to intimate if not outright say that Limit is a go-between, a mediator." now why don't you take another look at what i had written in the entry? what did you find? "It is ... by their common Limits that Somethings and Others are mediated with one another and mutually define each other's inner Qualities." please tell me, how does that "throw doubt on my understanding of Limit!?" now let's take another look at what you had written: "Hegel associates "limit" with whatever conditions surround the determinate being in question." no mention of "go-between" or "mediator". so by your own admission i was right and you were wrong. and yet your irrational ego-distortion allows you to take credit for my correction. and yet i'm the arrogant one!!! i do not want to be dragged into your insanity any longer. if all you want is "the lean, mean, straightforward" approach of your self-serving biases, than do everyone a favour and stay away from philosophy! Xianmw (talk) 21:37, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
the insanity, if any, is trying to pinpoint a single meaning to Hegel's writings. it seems to me that the chief benefit is the overall style, the ontological approach centering on the totality of the situation. Your writings are fine, they aren't bad, what I object to is your assertions that my take on all this are incorrect. You can go ahead and keep your thing going here, but if you deleting something I wrote on the grounds that it "wrong, incorrect," and such you are going to get a response from me. There is nothing I have written about Hegel that is wrong. I will grant you the possibility of too general but not wrong. Jazzbox (talk) 21:55, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

new "Infinity" section[edit]

what had been previously written about infinity was loose, inaccurate, contained no citations and was in large part invented by its author and falsely ascribed to hegel. Xianmw (talk) 20:08, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

It is not falsely ascribed to Hegel, it is a reasonable interpretation of an obscure work. Jazzbox (talk) 21:21, 1 February 2012 (UTC)


evidently Xianmw is no longer contributing[edit]

the narrative for the science of logic is now in kind of uneven form. Xianmw started a rewrite which essentially condemned the work that I did and his rewrite I would say made it about a quarter of the way through the book. actually like his writing but it strikes me that it would be difficult to understand IF the reader had not spent considerable time already on the Science of Logic. I find his writing useful now but anyway he does not seem to be contributing and his username is deleted. I only really objected to the arrogant way in which he criticized my interpetation. if somebody else wanted to pick up the ball and run with it would be fine. I may make a couple of small additions but will not undertake any major work. I do however have a complete set of notes handwritten on it, which someone might be able to use for the narrative. As it stands now much of the book has no narrative here. Jazzbox (talk) 04:11, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

i'm still working on it. Xianmw (talk) 20:05, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
While I can understand your writing, having read Science of Logic, it would be nothing more than a mystery to an interested reader wishing to become acquainted with the SOL. I stand by all my comments in here. Since the narrative has apparently dwindled to little, i again suggest a rewrite which is not in Hegelese, but in some form understandable to everyone. That is what an encyclopedia is for. Jazzbox (talk) 21:18, 23 April 2014 (UTC)